Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling named FWA Footballer of the Year after winning PFA Young Player award
Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling has been named Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year the day after picking up the PFA’s Young Player award.
Sterling has enjoyed a fine season for Pep Guardiola’s title chasers, with his 17 Premier League goals and 12 assists firing City to within two games of winning successive league championships.
He has also emerged as a key figure in football’s fight against racism, highlighting the bias against black footballers in the wake of being racially abused during a visit to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge home last December.
The former Liverpool forward, 24, becomes the fourth Manchester City player to win the FWA award, after Don Revie in 1954/55, Bert Trautmann the following season, and Tony Book, who shared the award with Derby’s Dave Mackay in 1968/69.
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Sterling topped the poll of the 400-strong FWA members with 62 per cent, which was 100 more votes than the runner up, Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk. Van Dijk was on Sunday crowned PFA Player of the Year.
Sterling’s Man City team-mate Sergio Aguero was in third place.
Newly-elected FWA Chair Carrie Brown said: “Raheem Sterling is a player of style and a man of substance.
“More than 70 years ago Charles Buchan, one of the founding fathers of the Footballer Writers’ Association, suggested there be an award presented to the player who by “precept and example” is considered the Footballer of the Year.
“Raheem Sterling is an exemplar of the talent and values our founding fathers sought to reward when they established the FWA in 1947.
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“To have been voted the 2019 Footballer of the Year by our members, and with such an overwhelming majority, clearly acknowledges the contribution from a player over one season but it also recognises the huge impact of Raheem’s courage to challenge preconceptions and fight racism, which will leave a legacy not just for future generations in football but society as a whole. Eyes have been opened, voices found, we are listening and will be at the forefront of the continued drive for equality.
“On the pitch, Raheem has evolved into one of the most dangerous forwards in the world. A player long admired for his tactical intelligence, link-up play and quick feet has now added a devastating finish to his game. The Manchester City forward’s Champions League opener against Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium drew comparisons with Lionel Messi’s goal against Manchester United. Are we approaching a time where Barcelona’s maestro will be forced to cast a watchful glance over his dropped shoulder at the rising star of Sterling?
“Raheem didn’t set out to be a leader, but he is setting examples in society and in the game which the world is following with interest.
“I look forward to presenting him with the Sir Stanley Matthews Trophy on May 9.”
Other players to receive votes from FWA members were Harry Kane (Tottenham), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal), Bernardo Silva and David Silva (both Manchester City).
Sterling will be presented with the Footballer of the Year trophy, which has been awarded since 1948, at the Landmark Hotel in London on May 9
Manchester City also claimed a win in the FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year awards, with striker Nikita Parris beating Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema to the accolade.
Source: Prem News